Stocks rallied Thursday after a record Treasury auction pushed bond yields lower, raising hopes that interest rates will follow and allaying...
NEW YORK — Stocks rallied Thursday after a record Treasury auction pushed bond yields lower, raising hopes that interest rates will follow and allaying fears that foreign investors would move away from U.S. debt.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 93.89, to 10,640.10. In late-afternoon trading, the index was up more than 100 points.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, rose 13 cents to close at $27.09 a share. Boeing, also a Dow stock, gained $1.39 to $66.10.
Wall Street was also helped by lower oil prices and sheer momentum, as the Standard & Poor’s 500 passed a price ceiling that usually triggers selling.
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For the most part, however, the news that sent stocks soaring in late afternoon was nearly identical to the news that sent stocks sideways in the morning.
Falling oil prices, a downward force for stocks in the morning as energy stocks fell, helped send stocks higher in the afternoon, with retail stocks rising as worries about consumer spending were temporarily forgotten.
Broader stock indicators were also higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10.31, to 1,230.96, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 20.87, to 2,196.68.
Bond prices rose sharply, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note falling to 4.56 percent from 4.65 percent late Wednesday. The U.S. dollar was mixed against other major currencies in European trading. Gold prices were higher.
Thursday’s auction of 10-year Treasury notes attracted a record level of indirect bids, which include foreign central banks. The auction came as a relief to investors who were worried after two auctions of shorter-term bond earlier this week failed to attract intense foreign demand.
Crude-oil futures fell. A barrel of light crude settled at $57.75, down $1.13.
Stocks have been crawling sideways for much of the year, and investors are itching for the kind of fourth-quarter rallies they’ve seen the last two years.
Perhaps that explains why falling oil prices, which helped push stocks lower in the morning with falling energy stocks, were a catalyst for the afternoon rally, when retailers gained as consumer-spending worries were temporarily forgotten.
“We all look for catalysts, but sometimes markets go up because they’re ready to go up,” said John P. Waterman, chief investment officer at Rittenhouse Asset Management.
The Commerce Department said September’s trade deficit soared 11.4 percent from August to $66.1 billion, pushed higher by increased oil imports after the Gulf Coast hurricanes and a record deficit with China.
The stream of unemployment filings from the hurricanes continues, although the numbers are no greater than expected. The number of Americans who lost their jobs in the hurricanes’ aftermath rose to 542,000 last week.
Exxon Mobil, BP, ConocoPhillips and other energy companies saw sharp drops as oil prices fell.
But Target rose after its third-quarter earnings beat expectations and gasoline prices continued to fall. Wal-Mart and Costco Wholesale rose with it.
Exxon fell $1.05 to $56.45; BP fell $1.30 to $64.30 and Conoco fell $2.20 to $63.39.
Target, the nation’s No. 2 discount chain, rose $2.29 to $58.85 after it reported an 18 percent drop in earnings for the third quarter despite higher revenue. Wal-Mart rose 84 cents to $49.04 and Costco rose $1.41 to $50.06.